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'07 Civic at 105,000 miles

My Civic has for the most part performed excellently over the years. But it is now at 105,000 miles and I am doing a lot of driving now (between 2-3,000 miles per month). I really want to essentially drive this car into the ground before I have to buy a new car and am wondering if I can get some advice on oil changes. So there are a few questions here,

  • First is whether it is more beneficial for me to switch to a synthetic rather than the 5w20 conventional oil I have been using? If so would I really be able to go 15,000 miles between oil changes or no?
  • Second, is whether it is worth it for me to perform the oil change myself or to go to Honda to do it? This goes to both price and the additional checks that Honda does when you bring in the car.
  • Finally, I was reading about the differences between oils and am not completely sure if there is a difference. But if there is, would people recommend switching to the high mileage oil at this point (I don’t know if that matters with synthetics or not)? And also switching to heavier 10w30 oil? I live in Minnesota so while it is warm now (finally!), I know that won’t last long and it will be cold again. I had read that once you switch to heavier oil you should switch back so would switching to a heavier oil be a bad idea?

I know there’s a lot here I’m asking so thank you in advance for helping me with these questions.

There is no benefit to synthetic oil over conventional oil if your car doesn’t require synthetic. Just more expensive changes. And I would not exceed the recommended oil change interval no matter what oil you choose. The option to change the oil yourself is a personal one. The real benefit is cost savings, of course. Another cost savings is to find a decent independent mechanic who can also do the same additional checks and still save money over the dealer. Cars and oil are much better designed today, and switching around oil weights is not recommended. Use the oil weight recommended for your car year-round without fear. High-mileage oil is simply oil with seal conditioners, like stop-leak. Seals are made better these days, and would not spend the extra on high mileage oil unless seals started to leak.

I would add to BustedKnuckles comment by saying that these days hitting 100K miles means a car (and certainly a Civic) as barely broken in. 100K isn’t “high mileage” the way it used to be.

I know of no manufacturer who says that if you can use synthetic oil you can increase the oil change interval.

Stick with the recommended oil change interval that’s outlined in you owners manual if you use conventional oil or synthetic.

"I know of no manufacturer who says that if you can use synthetic oil you can increase the oil change interval."

Apparently a lot of people extend their oil change intervals when they use synthetic oil, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. If somebody drives under absolutely ideal conditions (no temperature extremes, no local driving or short-trip driving, no trailer towing, no driving in dusty conditions) it is probably okay to extend oil change intervals somewhat with the use of synthetic oil However, VERY few people do all of their driving under those absolutely ideal conditions.

Although synthetic oil does resist viscosity breakdown better than conventional oil, and even though it undoubtedly provides better lubrication in extremely low temperatures, local/short-trip driving will lead to a build-up of moisture in that oil just like in any other oil, and that moisture build-up is what leads to damaging sludge formation and dilution/contamination of the oil. No oil can overcome the effects of that type of driving pattern.

I’m driving a 1998 Civic with about 256,000 miles on the odometer, and I’ve never filled it with synthetic oil. I use conventional oil and change it every 5,000 miles.

If I were you, I’d stick with whatever you’ve been doing, making sure you keep up with all the required maintenance, including oil changes and (if applicable), the timing belt.

I have an '88 Escort with over 500K miles and has never had anything except conventional oil used in it, not even high mileage oil. With today’s oils I think 5K miles is a safe change interval. I would do the oil changes myself rather than pay double or triple the cost at a dealer. I’ve always suspected some dealer service departments of using oil changes as a way to find other reasons to get your car in for other repairs often not necessary. As far as oil weight, that’s a decision you have to make. I use 10w40 in all my vehicles year round here in the south central KY. At this point in your car’s life I wouldn’t be taking it to the dealer for anything. If I couldn’t do the repair myself I’d take it to an independent mechanic.

I used to get my oil changes done at a Honda dealership, but only because it only cost me $20-25 (depending on the dealership), because the car was under warranty, and I didn’t want to have to keep maintenance records in order to maintain my warranty. Once I got past the 100,000 mile mark (when Honda’s powertrian warranty expired), I started doing my own oil changes. For me, it isn’t about the cost. Rather it is about me being more meticulous than I think most oil change technicians are about things like checking CV boots and other items. It’s also a Zen thing where I become and remain intimately familiar with the condition and quirks of my car. It helps me recognize when something might become a problem before it actually becomes a problem.

Regarding oil viscosity, my recommendation is to use the oil type that is listed on the oil cap. K.I.S.S.

I wouldn’t change the type or weight of oil. Use the same as you’ve been using, provided it is one that the owner’s manual recommends. Driving 3000 miles per months is very good for your car believe it or not. You’ll get more miles out of your that way than driving fewer miles around town. If you want to increase your odds of a long lasting engine, change the oil more frequently. If the owner’s manual says every 6000 miles say, change it every 3000 miles. It’s cheap insurance.

And it’s best to stay with exactly the same oil including the same brand if possible. Not every oil has the same additives and sticking to same brand avoids potential incompatibility problems.

Whether to do oil changes yourself or letting Honda do it is up to you. Me, I wouldn’t use a dealership for something as simple as an oil change. Dealerships are good to use for warranty work and drivability problems, not oil changes. If I didn’t want to do it myself I’d have my local inde shop (preferably one that specializes in Hondas or at least Asian cars) do it. There’s a thread here from a year or two ago on tips the experts here gave to simplify diy oil changes, you might can find it using the forum search feature.


I have an '88 Escort with over 500K miles…

Just when I think some of the mileage claims around here can’t get any more amazing…they do.

That’s definitely on the high end of the distribution curve.
Kudos to FordMan.

the same mountainbike –

That’s definitely on the high end of the distribution curve.

…he pointed out, in extreme understatement.
I had a new 1985 Escort, an outrageous, frustrating, insulting junker. The only way that thing was going anywhere near half a million miles was if I had it launched into deep space.
Oh, unless maybe I’d been willing to pretty much replace every moving part on the thing every few years or so.
To this day I can’t really forgive Ford.

My '89 Toyota pickup had 338,000 miles and still ran great, without ever having major engine work. The heads were never off, the block never opened up. I got 295,000 miles out of the original clutch! I have no doubt there are doubters out there, but as God is my witness, it’s all true.

Unfortunately, it got hit. Man, I wish I still had that truck.

I had a 1985 (and a half - I don’t know what that’s about) Escort and it gave me many many trouble free miles.

Auto owner, thanks a million. I get to go to sleep tonight with a vision of an '85 Escourt cruising through deep space, and that’s an image to smile about. {:slight_smile:

Put me in it. I want off this planet.

Virgin Galactic says that they will fly next year. Get your order in now.

I had a 1985 (and a half - I don't know what that's about) Escort and it gave me many many trouble free miles.
My brother bought a new 86 Escort. That was on piece of sh*t vehicle. Engine ran fine...but everything else fell apart. Including the drivers seat falling to the pavement while he was driving it. It was a rust bucket in 5 years.

Oil? Frequent changes are good. I thought u were going to ask about timing belt/waterpump.

With the price of regular oil so high these days, switch to synthetic and do three oil changes a year. Whatever you do with or without synthetic oil, your engine will probably keep on going as long as there is enough oil in the engine.